La Gastronomia plans expansion, move from downtown Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

La Gastronomia plans expansion, move from downtown Grass Valley

Rita and Frankie Molin are moving their Italian deli, Gastronomia, from downtown Grass Valley to South Auburn Street.

After a two-year run in downtown Grass Valley, Rita and Frankie Molin are moving their Italian deli, La Gastronomia, to the 700 block of South Auburn Street.

The move also means a major expansion for the Molins, who have always wanted a space for their customers to sit and enjoy their made-to-order paninis and daily specials.

"We felt we really needed seating," Rita said.

The Molins relocated to California in 2015. Opening the deli was a longtime dream, but the economy in Italy discouraged the young couple from starting a business back home. So they set their sights on the United States, a place they had both visited many times.

They came back to the Grass Valley area in 2013 to solidify their plans, and signed a lease on the space in July 2014.

Offerings include lasagna bolognese, rosemary and olive oil focaccia bread, veggie balls, fried pumpkin flowers, eggplant parmigiana and tiramisu, as well as sandwiches made with the meats and cheeses available. They make fresh pasta by order, take requests for menu items a couple of days in advance and also prepare food for special events.

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According to Rita, the couple had been looking for a long time for a larger space, but most of the available downtown locations wanted too much rent or needed too much work.

"Old buildings mean big trouble," Frankie said.

The new locale has 2,500 square feet, more than double the 1,200 square feet the deli takes up in its current space on East Main Street.

La Gastronomia's new location previously was a photography studio and they are remodeling the space to include a wood-fired oven for pizza.

"It will be a family place," Frankie said, with room for eight tables.

"We still want to do the deli," Rita added, with customers ordering their food at the counter.

The Molins have worked out an agreement with their current landlord to stay downtown through Dec. 27; Rita said their last day of business likely will be Christmas Eve.

From now until then, they are trying to liquidate some of their warehouse stock and offering Christmas deals on imported goodies.

The Molins are finalizing their plans for the new space and getting ready for the permit process; they hope to be open by mid-January. They have applied for a beer and wine license, Rita said.

Rita sees the move away from the downtown core as a positive, explaining, "I feel like people don't like to come downtown, they complain it's hard to find parking."

She said the small shopping center toward the very bottom of South Auburn Street is a nice location, adding, "We didn't want to lose our identity. … We're pretty excited."

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

Know & Go

What: La Gastronomia

Where: 104 East Main St., Grass Valley, through Dec. 24; moving to 760 South Auburn St., Grass Valley, by mid-January

Hours: 12-6:30 p.m. Mondays, 11 am.-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays

For info: Call 530-798-6021, go online to http://www.lagastronomia.us or go to Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LaGastronomiaGrassValleyCA/